Integrating ecological & social landscapes: evaluating resilience in fire‐prone ecosystems webinar

Date and Time: 
Tue, 01/22/2013 - 1:00pm - 2:00pm

U.S. Forest Service Landscape Science


Tom Spies, research ecologist, U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station

The interdisciplinary Forest People Fire (FPF) project uses systems theory and simulation models to integrate biophysical and socioeconomic interconnections across land ownerships, and examine feedbacks between human and natural subsystems. We hypothesize that fire-prone landscapes are difficult human learning environments because individuals have infrequent encounters with fire and fire effects are spatially variable. These characteristics can limit humans’ ability to develop adaptive behaviors. We test this prediction using an agent-based landscape model and collaborative learning.

Our findings thus far indicate social networks may help transmit adaptive knowledge and improve adaptation in complex, dynamic environments. Our simulation model enables us to visualize the effects of different future scenarios (e.g. restoration, biofuel economy, climate change) on landscape dynamics and ecosystem services. Applications include “All Lands” management, the Cohesive Wildfire Management Strategy, National Forest planning, and climate change adaptation.